About Dave Whelan – Now that Wigan’s relegated

Dave Whelan. Photo from Football365.com

This is a comment from RuggerTyke at a post in the Guardian:

It’s been a fairy-tale for the man who built a sports empire after breaking his leg in the FA Cup final, taking his local club from the bottom tier to the Premier League, culminating a stay of 8 years which many expected would merely last a year, with an FA Cup win against one of the richest side in the world only to then a few days later, do what had been expected of them ever since they were promoted and get relegated.

This has come in the same year that the business Whelan, a proud Thatcherite, founded, JJB Sports, a company he ran with very dubious ethics, finally went in to liquidation and ceased to exist, having been bought out by Sports Direct, owned by the chairman of Newcastle United and the team they could have pipped in their race for survival.

It’s been the end of a seriously elongated fairytale for Dave Whelan, the man who polarised a strong Rugby town when he built the stadium that propelled the Football side and had the Warriors grudgingly share, which has ended in a very bittersweet manner; a script so outlandish it is, along with the carving on the trophy made where Whelan was born, already engraved in folklore.

Martinez will most likely leave but despite being younger than the longest and most successful football manager in British history, it remains to be seen whether Whelan has the heart and desire to continue, so this may well be the end of the Latics – of the least recognisable with that moniker merely a decade ago – and their David; the Goliath slaying minnow may never reach the dizzy heights of the Top Flight again.

Then again, I wouldn’t put it past DW to employ the man who took them up originally, Jewell and bounce straight back up. With the usual blend of carefully sourced South American flair and homegrown heroes plucked from obsecurity, naturally.


Of course, you would find a lot of DW hatred across English websites and sports pages. In Guardian because of DW being a Thatcherite; and in the others because of him being an old blusterer.

But really, it’s been a fairytale for him and for Wigan. Loved their stay at the Premier League.

May they jump right back up.

I fear, though that it might not happen.



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